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The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is the process by which adults come into full communion with the Catholic Church. It takes place in your local parish and involves a period of preparation before receiving the Sacraments of Initiation.
If you’re curious about the Catholic Church or interested in becoming Catholic, please contact your neighborhood Catholic Church or e-mail: Ken Ogorek.
RCIA doctrinal guidelines titled Fullness of Truth: Doctrinal Guidelines for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults were promulgated in 2011. These guidelines provide clarity regarding doctrinal elements necessary for appropriate formation of adults preparing for the Sacraments of Initiation and include use of the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults.
Founded in 1998 by a group of bishops, priests, and laity, the Association for Catechumenal Ministry (ACM) seeks to foster the full implementation of the Order of Christian Initiation by providing a communications, resources, and education network for diocesan and parish personnel involved in the work of the catechumenate. The Association’s resources and work reflect its focus on the complimentarity and indispensability of the various components (liturgical, catechetical, and pastoral) of a comprehensive Christian initiation process.
All of the basic preparation for joining the Church is done through the local parish, and often it is helpful to join a parish close to your home. In each parish there will be a person, either volunteer or staff, who helps with the process for adults joining the Church. The process is called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). Every priest in a given parish is familiar with the process and most are very involved. It is common for a priest or other staff member in a parish to meet with someone who is interested in becoming Catholic and discerning the next step from there.
Typically the process begins with a period of inquiry followed by a period of faith formation. The inquiry phase provides the opportunity to ask questions and get some basic information. If someone decides to continue in the process, he or she enters the faith formation phase. For someone who is not Christian, he or she is considered a Catechumen during this phase. A Christian wanting to join the Catholic Church is considered a candidate for full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. If you are unsure which parish is near you or would like to find information about a specific parish in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, you may search for on-line HERE.
The Office of Worship for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis has compiled a "Frequently Asked Questions Concerning the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)" which has answers to questions about the lencth of the Catechumenate period and specifics about the celebration of the Sacraments. If you have other questions or need clarification, feel free to contact your local parish, the Office of Spiritual Life and Worship (CONTACT US).